Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has kicked off its 29th holiday bag drive with the goal of raising 3 million pounds of food to help local food banks meet the increased demand for food to serve thousands of hungry families and people throughout Northern California and Nevada this holiday season.
Reflecting the nation’s ongoing focus on healthy eating, West Sacramento-based Raley’s will continue to offer a variety of fresh and nutritious items.
“Raley’s Food For Families holiday bag campaign is a simple way to share the season with those in your community struggling with hunger,” said Jennie Teel-Wolter, Food For Families development officer. “We have packed each bag with fresh, wholesome and nutritious food like fresh milk and carrots, items our food banks desperately need this time of year.”
This year’s holiday bag will once again include a gallon of milk, as up to 95 percent of food banks don’t have enough milk to meet their clients’ needs.
Donations can be made through Dec. 31 at check stands in all Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source stores. Online donations can be made at foodforfamilies.org/donate, on Facebook or by texting ENDHUNGER to 85944. Raley’s teams up with customers to more than double the contribution to the local community—a $10 donation will buy a bag of healthy food worth more than $27, for example.
Food For Families partners with 72 food banks throughout Northern California and Nevada to distribute the food to help feed people that are food insecure throughout the year. Funds raised directly benefit partners within that community. The program was established in 1986 and is unique in the U.S. in that Raley’s absorbs all administrative expenses ensuring that 100 percent of every donation goes toward feeding neighbors in need.
“Raley’s Food For Families is a key partner in our continuing service to the growing number of clients in Elk Grove and South Sacramento County,” said Marie Jachino, executive director of Elk Grove Food Bank Services. “The largest increase has been is in the senior community, which has grown by 280 percent. We greatly appreciate the incredible support from Food For Families of non-perishable food products, fresh fruit and vegetables that now make up a substantial part of all the food we distribute.”
Up to one in six Americans are unsure of where or when they will have their next meal. A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed California’s child poverty rate—27 percent—is the worst in the nation. In Sacramento County, some 244,000 people consider themselves to be “food insecure,” meaning they do not have enough access to food.
In 2014, more than 2 million pounds of food was contributed, which equated to more than 85,000 bags of food distributed to local food banks. To date, Food For Families has raised more than $33 million and donated more than 24 million pounds of food to fight hunger.